Kunieda survives match points to retain his winning streak
World No. 1 Shingo Kunieda survived two match points against Stephane Houdet (FRA) on Saturday at Melbourne Park as the three top seeds claimed the men's singles, women's singles and quad singles titles at the Australian Open.
Kunieda faced the biggest threat to his two year winning streak as an uncharacteristically high number of double faults and unforced errors peppered his men's singles final against world No. 2 Houdet, but the Japanese top seed scraped through to clinch his fourth Australian Open title.
The contest opened with two successive deuce games and three successive breaks of serve, with Houdet becoming the first player to hold serve as he led 3-1 after a third deuce game. Kunieda returned in kind to hold his first service game of the match and then broke back to for the loss of one point in the next game.
With both players evenly matched, the first set came down to a tiebreak, which Kunieda went on to take comfortably, 7-2.
Houdet secured the first breakthrough of the second set, winning a fascinating sixth game to move 4-2 ahead and the Frenchman then held his own serve convincingly before converting the first of two set points to level the match as Kunieda's tally of double faults entered double figures.
Houdet had another chance to go a break up in the sixth game of the final set, but could not convert as Kunieda levelled at 3-3 and the Frenchman continued to pressurise his opponent to move within a game of victory at 5-4.
With Kunieda serving to stay in the match he went 15-40 down and his 77 match winning streak looked set to end. However, Kunieda's mental strength helped save both match points and despite serving his 15th double fault of the match two games later, he went on to secure a remarkable victory 76(2) 26 75.
Homan eases to first Grand Slam title
Korie Homan ensured that she took full advantage of the absence of her fellow Dutchwoman Esther Vergeer at this year's Australian Open, as the world No. 2 clinched her first Australian Open and her first Grand Slam title with a comprehensive straight sets win over second seed Florence Gravellier (FRA).
Gravellier held a narrow 2-1 lead at the start of the match, but Homan reeled off four games in a row to take the first set. Having been taken to three sets in each of her previous two matches this week in Melbourne and having pulled out of the women's doubles to look after an injury, Homan displayed few worries in the second set as her trademark powerful serve was just one of the telling weapons that helped her to secure a 62 62 victory in 56 minutes.
Norfolk wins fourth Australian Open quad title
Peter Norfolk took his tally of Australian Open titles since 2004 to four after securing a straight sets victory over world No. 2 David Wagner (USA).
Norfolk opened the final with a love service game and went on to take a 4-1 lead after Wagner converted his one and only break point of the first set to take the second game. Norfolk took the American to deuce in three of Wagner's four service games and the Briton converted his first set point for his third break of the opening set.
Wagner took a comfort break at 2-1 in the second set and although Norfolk won the next game to secure the first break of the second set, he appeared to tighten up as Wagner put together a sequence of four games to lead 5-3. However, with the prospect of losing a second set to Wagner for the second time in three days, Norfolk suddenly appeared to relax and subsequently came back to force a tiebreak.
Norfolk opened a 4-1 lead in the tiebreak, but a double fault allowed Wagner to level at 4-4. However, that was to be Wagner's only remaining success and Norfolk reeled off the next three points to defend his title and his world No. 1 ranking after a 62 76(4) victory.
More photos to follow soon.
Australian Open Official Website
Norfolk and Wagner to contest quad final
Kunieda and Houdet into Australian Open final
Homan fights back to beat di Toro
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